The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has announced the creation of its Fintech Lab. It will enable the AMF to explore the current and potential applications of new technologies among regulated entities (including market infrastructures) or in connection with its regulatory activities.
The Lab will be accessible to all AMF staff who contribute to the various projects of the Fintech Working Group. The objectives will be to:
- Deepen and update the AMF’s knowledge of new technologies;
- Explore how the AMF itself can better use new technologies to improve its business processes;
- Provide advice and insight with respect to a review of the regulatory framework and to the regulatory sandboxinitiatives implemented by the Canadian Securities Administrators;
- Anticipate the AMF’s needs regarding the latest expertise and computer systems.
The Fintech Lab’s mandate is to study new technologies rather than the business models that are based on them. It will therefore serve as a think tank, equipped with exploration tools, whose purpose is to provide the AMF with the knowledge it requires to fully carry out its role as a regulator in an increasingly digital environment.
The Fintech Lab’s activities will be divided into various projects. Since the target technologies will be on the cutting-edge of research, the AMF will draw on university students in engineering and technology as interns assigned to its Lab projects, under the supervision of one or more members of the Fintech Working Group.
This talent incubator will in particular allow the AMF to raise awareness among tomorrow’s professionals about a regulator’s role in the financial markets and to invest in the future of the financial sector. The first two interns will take up their duties in May 2017.
The AMF also intends to form partnerships with key players in the financial sector and academia in order to closely monitor developments in the sector and generate interest in its projects among students.
In this regard, the AMF signed a partnership agreement with R3, an innovation firm focused on building platforms and applications for the financial sector. R3 has established a consortium of financial institutions for developing and applying blockchain technology in the financial services industry. The firm has also invited regulators to join the consortium in order to address the regulatory issues of the new technologies adopted by these institutions.
By joining the consortium, the AMF will be able to gain access to relevant information about projects undertaken by other regulators, enter into project partnerships and develop its own initiatives in a more timely manner through the contributions of other members.
The AMF is pursuing discussions to form other partnerships that will allow it to monitor the development of new technologies in the financial sector even more closely.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec’s financial sector.